Cabezas and Morelli Lead Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park
Yaniel Cabezas had four hits (three doubles and a single), scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Jesus Morelli drove-in four runs with two singles and a home run, and four pitchers combined to strike out 14, as a split squad of EXST Cubs drubbed the EXST Angels 13-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa.
Prior to the game on Field #2, Angel Guzman and Dustin Fitzgerald faced-off in a two-inning “sim game” on Field #3.
While one squad of EXST Cubs was playing the EXST Angels at Fitch Park, the other squad traveled up the 101 Freeway to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to play the EXST Rockies. However, I have no information about that game.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Larry Suarez has been promoted to Peoria (Suarez was used as a closer in his last couple of outings at EXST), and OF Ty Wright (sprained ankle) completed his rehab assignment and was assigned to AAA Iowa yesterday as the roster replacement for OF Lou Montanez, who had been called-up from Iowa by the Cubs on Tuesday to replace the injured Marlon Byrd (15-day DL - multiple facial fractures).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game at Fitch Park Field #2 (Cubs players only)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-4 (HBP, 4-6-3 DP, 3B, 6-3, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
2. Augie Ojeda, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, 4-3, BB, F-7 SF, R, RBI)
3. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 4-5 (2B, K, 2B, 2B, 1B, 3 R, 2 RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, LF: 3-5 (F-9, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, 1B, HR, R, 4 RBI)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-5 (K, K, F-8, K, 6-3)
6. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 1-4 (F-7, 5-2 FC, 4-3, 1B)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED SECOND TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 2-4 (1B, F-8, K, 1B, R)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
8. Blair Springfield, DH: 2-4 (1B, 2B, BB, F-8, 9-6 FC, 2 R)
9a. Max Kwan, 1B: 2-3 (1B, BB, FC+E1, 1B, 3 R, RBI)
9b. Carlos Romero, PH: 0-1 (F-9 DP)
1. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 55 pitches (39 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Hector Mayora: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 61 pitches (34 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3B Gregori Gonzalez - E5 (dropped pop fly in foul territory extending AB for hitter who then doubled and eventually scored unearned run)
Yaniel Cabezas 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.